Category Archives: Tips

2020 Lobster Season Guide Miami

2020 Lobster Season Guide Miami

Lobster Season Guide for a Successful Hunt in Miami

The Lobster Mini Season in Miami will officially begin at 12:01 am on Wednesday, July 29, and ends at midnight on Thursday, July 30. The regular 8-month lobster season will start on August 6 and runs through March 31, 2021. This year is forecast to be very active, with more permits sold than last year, and excellent weather conditions. Before you head out on the water, review our guide below to ensure a safe and successful bug hunt!

Remember- Safety First

There is always a risk associated with scuba diving, especially during the lobster mini-season. With thousands of recreational boaters on the water at once, make sure to have your dive flag visible, bring a spotter, and keep your eyes and ears open. The 2020 Lobster Season will see more divers on the water than in the past with a 9% increase in permits sold vs. last year. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 176,190 resident lobster permits and 41,509 non-resident lobster permits sold this year.

Know Your Limitations

During the mini-season, recreational divers and snorkelers can take a maximum of twelve lobsters per person per day in Broward and Miami Dade Counties except for Biscayne National Park, where you can only take six. In the primary lobster season, one can take a maximum of six lobsters per person per day.

See the official Lobster Season rules.

Size Does Matter

It is important to remember the lobster’s body excluding the tail should be larger than 3″, measured in the water. One should carry a measuring device at all times. Possession limits are strictly enforced on and off the water. Also, be sure to check to see if the lobster is pregnant. You can see visible orange eggs on the bottom of the tail. Be sure to leave these bugs for future generations to grow. 

Buy a Spiny Lobster Permit

You must have a recreational saltwater fishing license and a spiny lobster permit to participate in Lobster Season. To acquire these items, one can easily pick them from a local Publix Supermarket or online at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com. The process is simple and only takes a few minutes to complete.

Purchase the Correct Lobster Catching Equipment

There is nothing more frustrating than malfunctioning equipment during a dive. From a leaking mask to a broken regulator, make sure to have your gear tested and prepped for this season. There are many specialty lobster catching equipment you can purchase online or at a dive shop. These items can include an underwater measuring stick, tickle stick, a net, noose, and lobster bag. 

View our blog post on the best lobster catching equipment to purchase, click here.

For more information about the 2020 Lobster Season in Miami, please call us at 786-728-9988 or click here.

2020 Hurricane Season Boat Preparedness

How to Protect Your Boat from Damage During the 2020 Hurricane Season: June 1 – November 30

While we may be a bit fatigued from preparing for the unknown, Florida’s hurricane season runs June 1st – November 30th, with the peak of the season in August and September. This is the sixth year in a row that a tropical depression has formed before the official start of hurricane season, kicking off what experts predict will be an active season. 

Both the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) hurricane researchers are predicting an above-average Atlantic hurricane season in 2020, with the likely absence of El Niño as a primary factor. Tropical and subtropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures are also warmer than usual, a factor supporting an active hurricane season ahead. The Weather Company calls for 18 named storms, 9 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes.

As many south Florida boaters know from experience that it only takes one storm to cause complete destruction- so now is the best time to prepare your boat for a potential hurricane.

Top 10 Hurricane Season Boat Preparation Tips

Create a Hurricane Plan for Your Boat

The first step in preparing for hurricane season is to create a hurricane plan well before a storm approaches. When formulating a hurricane plan, always keep in mind that life comes before property. Customers are our key priority, so to ensure your safety we strongly encourage that you heed all evacuation notices issued by your local county emergency management office regardless of the vulnerability of your boat.

Know Your Boat Insurance Policy

Secure all of your important boat documents in an easily accessible location on dry land and make sure your insurance policy is up-to-date. Become familiar with your policy and contact your provider prior to a storm if you have any questions. To help with claims, take photos and videos of your boat before and after to show proof of damages, and inventory all equipment on your boat. 

Get to Boat on Dry Land  

The best place to store your boat during a hurricane is indoors at a dry boat storage facility, like NorthBeach Marina. If you do not have access to indoor dry storage,  smaller boats under 35-feet can be safely stored on land. Whether the boat is on a trailer, next to your house, or at a dry storage parking like Happy Trailer Storage Facility, boats that are stored dry typically see less damage than those left in the water during a hurricane. Be sure to store the boat on high ground to avoid flooding and place additional jack stands along with areas of the hull that are reinforced by bulkheads. Place pieces of plywood under the stands to prevent them from sinking into the ground, and chain together jack stands to prevent them from spreading apart.

Securing Your Boat on a Trailer

Tying your boat to its trailer helps prevent it from floating away in the storm surge or flooding a hurricane brings. If you’re keeping it on a trailer outside, choose a location away from trees and electricity poles, preferably next to a building or other structure that provides a shield from the wind. Place blocks beneath the frame on either side of the wheels, and deflate the tires. Tie the boat to the trailer and secure the boat to ground the best you can.

Remove and Secure Items to Reduce Wind Damage

If you leave the boat outside during a storm, remove anything that has the potential to fly off, like covers, especially if they are expensive or custom-made. Even if the storm does not damage your boat, it is likely that your canvas will be damaged or destroyed by wind, the strain from rain collecting, or by flying debris. Boats are made to get wet, so leave it uncovered during a storm.

We also recommend that you take anything above and below deck off the boat if it is not waterproof, or if it is light enough to fly away in a heavy wind. This includes (but is not limited to) cushions, dock lines, flags, Bimini tops, and GPS/radios. Make sure to secure anything else that cannot be removed from the boat. To prevent chafing, wrap protective covering around your lines wherever the ropes touch the boat. Fully charge batteries in case the bilge pump has to work overtime, and shut off fuel lines.

Seal Openings

Seal all openings (hatches, cabinets, doors, etc.) on the boat to keep it watertight. To help keep things secure during a storm, use duct tape for an easy remedy.

Remove Drain Plugs

If you are storing your boat on dry land, remove the drain plugs. Marinas typically do this when storing. If the boat fills up with water, the added weight can negatively affect the way it sits on your trailer or dry-rack. Just remember to put the plug back in before using the boat.

Inspect the Bilge Pumps & Float Switches 

Make sure your bilge pumps and bilge float switches are working and are hard-wired to your batteries. If your boat is on a lift, make sure the lift is in good working order and lift your boat higher than normal.

Securing Your Boat to at Lift 

Boats on lifts are more susceptible to damage in a serious storm due to collapsing lifts, flooding, being blown off cradles, etc. If you must leave your boat on a lift, raise your boat as high as the lift allows but do not secure the boat to the lift. Secure long ropes to anchor points (do not secure to floating docks, use pilings) in case the surge lifts the boat off the lift.

Securing Your Boat to a Dock 

Boats tied to docks are at greater risk than boats kept at moorings or on anchors since they suffer more windage. If you have no other option but to dock your boat, make sure your dock is in good shape and make any necessary improvements to ensure it holds up during the storm. As crunch time approaches, double or triple tie your boat to the dock. Adjust all lines to account for tide surges, the wind, and rain, and ensure each line has adequate chafe protection on the boat and at the dock cleats. Also, use buoys and fenders to protect from impact against floating debris, the dock, and seawall.

Final Advice for the Hurricane Season in South Florida

Don’t Wait

Evidence shows that boats stored on land fare better on average in a hurricane compared to boats kept in the water. If you plan on hauling your boat, coordinate in advance with your marina. Don’t wait until three days before the storm to try and secure your boat.  Be prepared and stay safe.

Should you need assistance preparing your boat for the hurricane season, call us at 786-728-9988.

Miami Holiday Boat Parade Schedules 2019

Annual Boat Parades in Miami Light Up Your Heart, and the Waterways

Happy holidays from everyone at Happy Trailer Storage! To get you in the holiday spirit, you will not want to miss the annual North Beach Boat Parade and Miami Holiday Boat Parade taking place in December. See our tips below to maximize your fun!   

North Beach Boat Parade 2019

The locals of Miami Beach’s North Beach neighborhood are hosting its annual North Beach Boat Parade on Saturday, December 7, starting at 7:00 pm. 

This annual holiday celebration is all about bringing families and the community together while proudly recognizing the service of our Miami Beach Police, Miami Beach Fire, and the U.S. Coast Guard men and women.

Parade Routes: You can see the parade along the entire west shoreline of North Beach. North Beach spans from 64th to 87th Street of Miami Beach. 

For more info visit: northbeachboatparade.com

Miami Holiday Boat Parade 2019

Mark the calendar! The Miami Holiday Boat Parade is Saturday, December 14, along Bayfront Park (301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami). The parade starts at 7:00 pm and will over 60 decorated boats, live music, fun activities for the kids, and fireworks. 

Parade Routes: The boat procession begins along the Bayfront Park shoreline and continues north, passing under the MacArthur Causeway, weaving around Star, Palm, and Hibiscus Islands before looping back to Bayfront.

For more info visit MocMiami.com

2019 Hurricane Season Tips for Boat Owners

Florida Hurricane season Runs June 1st – November 30th. Prepare Your Boat Now Before It’s Too Late.

Hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th, with peak activity typically in August and September. While we’ve been fortunate to avoid a direct hit in South Florida over the past three years, our neighbors to the north and south have not been as lucky. We saw the utter destruction caused by Hurricane Irma in the Upper Keys in 2017, and the catastrophic damage Hurricane Michael caused last year as it came ashore in the Florida Panhandle as the fourth-strongest windstorm on record to make landfall on the continental United States.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts a near-average 2019 season, with 9-15 named storms, 4-8 of which may become hurricanes and 2-4 that may become major hurricanes of Category 3 or higher. One named storm, Andrea, formed prior to the start of the season. NOAA’s hurricane outlook is similar to Colorado State University’s, which calls for 13 named storms, 5 hurricanes, and 2 major hurricanes.

Officials underscore the fact that an average season is still “a lot of storms.” Unfortunately, many of us know from experience that it only takes one storm to cause complete destruction so now is the best time to prepare your boat for a potential hurricane.

HURRICANE SEASON BOAT PREPARATION TIPS

The first step in preparing for hurricane season is to create a hurricane plan well before a storm approaches. When formulating a hurricane plan, always keep in mind that life comes before property. Customers are our key priority at North Beach Marina, so to ensure your safety we strongly encourage that you heed all evacuation notices issued by your local county emergency management office regardless of the vulnerability of your boat.

Know Your Insurance Policy

Secure all of your important boat documents in an easily accessible location on dry land and make sure your insurance policy is up-to-date. Become familiar with your policy and contact your provider prior to a storm if you have any questions. To help with claims, take photos and video of your boat before and after to show proof of damages, and inventory all equipment on your boat. 

Get on Dry Land

If you have a smaller boat under 35-feet, it is safest for the boat (and for your mental well-being) to be on land rather than in the water. Whether the boat is on a trailer, next to your house, or at a dry storage marina, boats that are stored dry typically see less damage than those left in the water during a hurricane. Be sure to store the boat on high ground to avoid flooding and place additional jack stands along with areas of the hull that are reinforced by bulkheads. Place pieces of plywood under the stands to prevent them from sinking into the ground, and chain together jack stands to prevent them from spreading apart.

Securing Your Boat on a Trailer

Tying your boat to its trailer helps prevent it from floating away in the storm surge or flooding a hurricane brings. If you’re keeping it on a trailer outside, choose a location away from trees and electricity poles, preferably next to a building or other structure that provides a shield from the wind. Place blocks beneath the frame on either side of the wheels, and deflate the tires. Tie the boat to the trailer and secure the boat to ground the best you can.

Remove and Secure Items to Reduce Windage

If you leave the boat outside during a storm, remove anything that has the potential to fly off, like covers, especially if they are expensive or custom-made. Even if the storm does not damage your boat, it is likely that your canvas will be damaged or destroyed by wind, the strain from rain collecting, or by flying debris. Boats are made to get wet, so leave it uncovered during a storm.

We also recommend that you take anything above and below deck off the boat if it is not waterproof, or if it is light enough to fly away in a heavy wind. This includes (but is not limited to) cushions, dock lines, flags, Bimini tops, and GPS/radios. Make sure to secure anything else that cannot be removed from the boat. To prevent chafing, wrap protective covering around your lines wherever the ropes touch the boat. Fully charge batteries in case the bilge pump has to work overtime, and shut off fuel lines.

Seal Openings

Seal all openings (hatches, cabinets, doors, etc.) on the boat to keep it watertight. To help keep things secure during a storm, use duct tape for an easy remedy.

Remove Drain Plugs

If you are storing your boat on dry land, remove the drain plugs. Marinas typically do this when storing. If the boat fills up with water, the added weight can negatively affect the way it sits on your trailer or dry-rack. Just remember to put the plug back in before using the boat.

Inspect the Bilge Pumps & Float Switches

Make sure your bilge pumps and bilge float switches are working and are hard-wired to your batteries. If your boat is on a lift, make sure the lift is in good working order and lift your boat higher than normal.

SECURING YOUR BOAT TO A LIFT

Boats on lifts are more susceptible to damage in a serious storm due to collapsing lifts, flooding, being blown off cradles, etc. If you must leave your boat on a lift, raise your boat as high as the lift allows but do not secure the boat to the lift. Secure long ropes to anchor points (do not secure to floating docks, use pilings) in case the surge lifts the boat off the lift.

STORING YOUR BOAT ON WATER DURING A HURRICANE

Find a Safe Harbor

If you have no choice but to leave your boat in the water during a hurricane, try to find a safe harbor to anchor, preferably off of the deep water. Once you find a safe place, look around. Are there rocks? Are you near a seawall? Is your boat anchored on a sandy bottom or a rocky ledge? What obstacles can the boat come into contact with during violent winds, storm surges, or if the boat breaks loose from its anchor? A well-protected area with the least amount of fetch is best.

Securing to a Dock

Boats tied to docks are at greater risk than boats kept at moorings or on anchors since they suffer more windage. If you have no other option but to dock your boat, make sure your dock is in good shape and make any necessary improvements to ensure it holds up during the storm. As crunch time approaches, double or triple tie your boat to the dock. Adjust all lines to account for tide surges, the wind, and rain, and ensure each line has adequate chafe protection on the boat and at the dock cleats. Also, use buoys and fenders to protect from impact against floating debris, the dock, and seawall.

FINAL TIPS FOR HURRICANE SEASON – DON’T WAIT

Evidence shows that boats stored on land fare better on average in a hurricane compared to boats kept in the water. If you plan on hauling your boat, coordinate in advance with your marina. Don’t wait until three days before the storm to make your hurricane plan. Call your local marinas and Happy Trailer Storage today to see how we can help before a storm hits.

You can take all the precautions in the world to secure your boat, but Mother Nature sometimes gets the best of us. Be prepared and stay safe. Should you need assistance preparing your boat for hurricane season, call us at (786) 728-9988.

Miami’s 2019 Lobster Season Guide

2019 Lobster Mini-Season Miami

Happy Trailer Storage Welcomes Start of the 2019-20 Lobster Season in Miami

One of the most highly-anticipated events in Miami, lobster mini-season, officially begins at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, July 24 and ends at midnight the following day. This two-day event gives recreational fishermen the opportunity to get lobsters before the commercial season begins. The regular eight-month season starts shortly after on August 6th and runs through March 31, 2020. 

Before you head out on the water, check out our tips below to ensure a safe and successful hunt!

SAFETY FIRST

There is always a risk associated with scuba diving, especially during mini-season. With thousands of recreational boaters on the water at one time, make sure to have your dive flag visible, bring a spotter, and keep your eyes and ears open. Also, if you are tempted to reach into a hole or under coral to grab a bug, don’t. You risk getting stuck or bitten by an unknown fish lurking below.

BRING THE CORRECT EQUIPMENT

There is nothing more frustrating during a dive than malfunctioning equipment. From a leaking mask to a broken regulator, make sure to avoid the hassle by having your gear tested and prepped for the season.

Common Lobstering Equipment 

  • Dive flag: All divers in Florida waters must display a dive flag and stay within 300-feet of open water.
  • Lobster net and tail snare: Nets are used on sand flats, while snares are best for reefs.
  • Tickle stick: A thin fiberglass rod about 24-inches long used to coax lobsters out of holes without harming the reef.
  • Gloves: For the lobster, not the reef.
  • Mesh bag: Used to hold your catch. Look for models that have a convenient way to attach to your weight belt or gear, and a locking enclosure. Be sure to put your name on all of your equipment.
  • Lobster gauge: Every diver must carry a lobster gauge and must measure the lobster under-water before it’s placed in the game bag.
  • Mask, fins, snorkel or dive gear

Be sure you are familiar with the rules of the lobster season before heading out on the water: 

KNOW YOUR LIMITS

During the mini-season, recreational divers and snorkelers can take a maximum of 12 lobsters per person, per day in South Florida, except for Monroe County and Biscayne National Park where the limit is six per person, per day, and the Biscayne Bay/Card Sound Lobster Sanctuary where the taking of any lobster is prohibited. Possession limits are strictly enforced on and off the water. During the regular season, the maximum limit for all locations is six lobsters per person, per day.

SIZE MATTERS

It is important to remember that the body of the lobster, excluding the tail, should be larger than three inches, measured in the water. Have a measuring device on you at all times – it’s required by law. Be sure you are familiar with how to measure a lobster properly. 

BUY A LICENSE OR GET FINED

Anyone taking or attempting to take a lobster must have a recreational saltwater fishing license and a spiny lobster permit to participate in the lobster season. These can easily be picked up at your local Publix Super Markets or online at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com.

KEEP THE LOBSTERS INTACT

Do not remove the tail. Lobsters must be kept intact from catch to arrival on shore.

WHERE TO LOBSTER IN SOUTH FLORIDA

While the Florida Keys draw the biggest crowds, there are a number of advantages to enjoying mini-season right here in your own backyard. One of the biggest perks is your overall catch. In the Keys and Monroe County, the limit per person, per day is six as opposed to South Florida which is 12. There are also plenty of lobster-heavy sites to choose from in Miami and the tri-county area. Also, since mini-season rules are looser, it’s legal to dive at night for lobster, so some dive operators offer a 24-hour charter schedule.

In Miami, you can start your hunt right from the beach. Legal-size lobster can be found within just 50-yards of the sands of South Beach, or you can join lobster charters to natural reefs, ledges, grass beds and man-made, state-approved rubble reefs.

In Broward and Palm Beach counties, the first reef line is an easy swim from shore and is home to plenty of bugs at the start of the season. If you’re looking for an adventure, there are numerous sites further offshore that local charter boats can take divers to. In Palm Beach, a popular spot for spiny lobster are the deep ledges off Jupiter Inlet. If you want to go a bit further, charters out of Palm Beach Inlet offer a selection of both deep ledges and shallow reef lines that hold plenty of big bugs for drift divers

Stay safe and enjoy lobster season!

5 Tips for the 2018 Lobster Season

lobster-season-miami-2018-tips

5 Tips for the 2018 Lobster Season

Happy Trailer Storage welcomes the 2018-19 Lobster Season

The Lobster Mini Season in Miami will officially begin at 12:01 am on Wednesday, July 25th, and ends at midnight on Thursday, July 26th. The regular 8-month lobster season will start on August 6th and runs through March 31, 2019. Before you head out on the water review our tips below to ensure a safe and successful hunt!

  1. SAFETY FIRST

There is always a risk associated with scuba diving, especially during the lobster mini-season. With thousands of recreational boaters on the water at one time, make sure to have your dive flag visible, bring a spotter, and keep your eyes and ears open. Also, as tempting, as is it may seem to reach into a hole or under coral to grab a bug, do not. You can get stuck or injured by an unknown fish lurking below.

  1. KNOW YOUR LIMITS

During the mini-season, recreational divers and snorkelers can take a maximum of twelve lobsters per person per day in Broward and Miami Dade Counties except for Biscayne National Park. In the primary season, one can take a maximum of 6 lobsters per person per day.

See the official Lobster Season rules

  1. SIZE MATTERS

It is important to remember the body of the lobster excluding the tail should be larger than 3″, measured in the water.  One should carry a measuring device at all times. Possession limits are strictly enforced on and off the water.

  1. BUY A “LICENSE” OR GET FINED

You must have a recreational saltwater fishing license and a spiny lobster permit to participate in Lobster Season. To acquire these items, one can easily pick them up from a local Publix Supermarket or online at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com.

  1. PURCHASE THE CORRECT EQUIPMENT

There is nothing more frustrating than malfunctioning equipment during a dive. From a leaking mask to a broken regulator, make sure to have your gear tested and prepped for this season.

How to Prepare Your Boat for a Hurricane

How to Prepare Your Boat for a Hurricane

The Hurricane Season in Miami runs from June 1st through November 30th. Make sure your boat is prepared to weather a storm.

The Hurricane Season is from June 1st through November 30th. Last year was one of the most destructive seasons on record with six major hurricanes, including Hurricane Irma that caused destruction throughout the entire state of Florida. Keeping this in mind, we strongly recommend having a hurricane plan in place for your boat to help prevent damages that can be caused by these storms.

For the 2018 Hurricane Season, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting an average year, with up to 16 named storms, and four major hurricanes. No matter how many storms we see this season; it only takes one to cause significant destruction to your vessel. With the 2018 Hurricane Season officially here, there’s no better time than now to prepare your boat to withstand a major storm.

CREATE A HURRICANE PLAN

The first step to prepare your boat for the hurricane season is to have a plan and know where you will keep it during a significant storm. The safest place to keep your boat during a hurricane is at a dry storage facility like North Beach Marina. Our in-door facility securely holds many vessels all keeping them dry and away from the hurricane force winds. You can also store your boat and trailer on dry land at your home or a boat storage facility like Happy Trailer Storage. We recommend selecting a location with minimal exposure to the wind. You can also reinforce your boat with straps for additional safety measures.

REVIEW YOUR BOAT INSURANCE

It is wise to make sure that you have all of your boat documents up to date and in an easily accessible location. Also, make sure to call your insurance company to make sure the policy is current. To help facilitate a timely insurance claim, take photos and video of your boat before and after to show proof of damages.

SECURE LOSE ITEMS

You will want to remove everything lose on the boat and remove equipment that could be damaged by a storm. These items include antennas, radios, life jackets, fishing equipment and canvas tops. If you cannot remove the electronic equipment from your boat, you can use shrink-wrap tape to protect it.

FIND A SAFE HARBOR

If you have no choice but to leave your boat in the water during a hurricane, try to find a safe harbor to anchor it. Once you locate a safe place, preferably on a canal with tall pilings that can allow your boat to rise and fall with the storm surge. You should use long ropes with fray protection and can use pilings from other dock slips to create more distance. When your boat is secure in the water, it should look like a spider in the middle of a web. You can also use buoys to protect the vessel from impact against floating debris, the dock, and seawall.

DON’T WAIT

Most importantly, don’t wait until three days before a storm strikes to prepare your boat. Should you need assistance preparing your boat for hurricane season call us at 786-728-9988.

Winter Shark Diving in the Bahama

shark-diving-bahamas-january-2018

Winter Shark Diving in the Bahamas

Looking for an adventure this winter? Take the short ferry ride over to the Bahamas and experience shark diving at its finest.

Written by: Carli Shekels
Photo by: Paula Herman

Winter in South Florida brings high winds, cold water, and isn’t quite the perfect time for boating but there are undoubtedly other ways to play during this season! If you’re a diver and are looking for something fun during Miami’s winter months, consider taking the FRS Caribbean Ferry over to Bimini in the Bahamas to dive with Hammerhead Sharks! Bimini Undersea Dive Shop offers a unique trip that’s very close to home. After a 2-hour ferry ride, the shop will escort you to the dive boat where you will suit up, travel to the dive site, and wait for the Hammerheads to arrive. Once the first Hammerhead appears, you can jump in and watch the feeding. Typical dives can last well over an hour, and even though it’s a bit chilly (especially for us South Floridians!), the beauty and excitement of seeing these fantastic creatures can keep you warm.

I had the privilege of diving last weekend, and the experience was truly incredible. The dive staff was very accommodating, professional and promoted safety, which is something that I always appreciate. The feeder was a pro, and he made sure to put the safety of the divers first. The water was full of large, hungry Nurse sharks when we jumped in and eventually; the Hammerheads came to have a mid-afternoon snack. They ranged from 10’-12’ and we got to see a “baby” 10’ Tiger Shark cruise by, as well. The water was cold; however, with a 3mm wetsuit, a hood, and gloves, it was bearable for the 75-minute dive. Other divers (maybe with warmer blood!) stayed down longer before heading back to the boat. Once back at shore, we had just enough time to change and have some conch salad before heading to the ferry to return home. It’s a full day of adventure but well worth it if you are interested in seeing some impressive sharks!

Take advantage of our proximity to the Bahamas from Miami and the quick ferry trip to enjoy shark diving and exploring while your boat hibernates this winter.

 

Labor Day Boat Safety Tips

10 Boat Safety Tips to Help You Keep Safe on the Water this Labor Day Weekend in Miami

Happy Labor Day from everyone at Happy Trailer Rentals!

Established by the Labor Movement in 1894, Labor Day is one of the most time-honored traditions in America celebrating the contributions we’ve made to the strength, prosperity, and well being of our country. As boaters and party-goers from around the world flock to Fort Lauderdale for the last major holiday before the fall, we would like to remind you of a few safety tips as you plan to head out on the water for Labor Day Weekend in Miami, Florida.

Top 10 Boating Tips for Labor Day

1. Don’t Drink and Operate a Boat: In 2016, alcohol use was the top reason why fatal boating accidents occur in America according to the US Coast Guard’s annual report. Operator inattention, operator inexperience, improper lookout, excessive speed, and machinery failure rank as the top five primary contributing factors in accidents.

2. Always Have Life Jackets: Everyone on board should be wearing a life jacket while the boat is in operation. 80% of fatal boating accident victims drowned. Of those drowning victims with reported life jacket usage, 83% were not wearing a life jacket. Make sure that you have an appropriately sized life jacket for every person on board.

3. Communicate Emergency Plan: Communicate your plan with the people on your boat and at least one person on shore in case something should go wrong. Also, it is recommended to inform the persons on shore when you will be departing and arriving back at the dock and to call to confirm your safe voyage.

4. Don’t Break the Rules: Boater education courses can help you understand laws, navigation rules, emergency situations, and other useful tips. The top five contributing factors in boating accidents include operator inattention, operator inexperience, improper lookout, excessive speed, and machinery failure.

5. Use the Kill-Switch: Many accidents involve boaters who fall overboard without having been clipped to the engine kill switch. This important piece of equipment can help protect you by stopping the engines should you get ejected overboard.

6. Follow the Weather: Check weather conditions often and be aware of storm warnings before you head out on the water. In Miami, the weather can change drastically within minutes.  Be prepared for sun or storm.

7. Wear Sunscreen: The Florida Sun is brutal. Be sure to bring a minimum of a 50 proof sunscreen and apply every few hours to avoid sunburn. It is also recommended to wear a hat, sunglasses, and cover up when in direct sunlight for extended periods of time. If you should get burned, Tylenol and Aloe Vera gel can help alleviate the pain.

8. Drink Water: Sun poisoning is not something we made up to scare the snowbirds. Make sure to drink plenty of water and to stay shaded to avoid becoming dehydrated when on the water for extended periods of time.  Especially when indulging in alcohol, do not forget to hydrate!

9. Avoid the Propellers. Many accidents involve non-boaters near the engine propellers. Be sure the area is clear when starting and stopping the boat engines. There were 171 accidents in 2016 which a propeller struck at least one person. Collectively, these accidents resulted in 24 deaths and 175 injuries.

10. Be Courteous: Realize that you are sharing the water with other people so please make sure to be courteous to other boats. Wave, keep your music at a low roar when anchored/beached next to someone, and make sure to leave with everything you came with (take your garbage with you).

Have a safe and fun Labor Day! If you have any questions feel free to contact us at 786-728-9988 or click here

Lobster Season Tips 2017

Lobster Season Tips

Everything you need to know about the Lobster Season in Miami, Florida

North Beach Marina welcomes the 2017-18 Lobster Season. The Mini Season in Miami, Florida is the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday of July each year. For 2017, the Lobster Mini Season will begin at 12:01 am on Wednesday, July 26th, and ends at midnight on Thursday. The regular 8-month lobster season will start August 6th and runs through March 31, 2018. Before you head out on the water review our tips below to ensure a safe and successful hunt!

KNOW YOUR LIMITS

During the mini-season, recreational divers and snorkelers can take a maximum of twelve lobsters per person per day in Broward and Miami Dade Counties except for Biscayne National Park. In the primary season, one can take a maximum of 6 lobsters per person per day.

See the official Lobster Season rules

SIZE MATTERS

It is important to remember the Carapace or body of the lobster excluding the tail should be larger than 3″, measured in the water.  One should carry a measuring device at all times. Furthermore, possession limits are strictly enforced on and off the water.

BUY A LICENSE OR GET FINED

You must have a recreational saltwater fishing license and a spiny lobster permit to participate in Lobster Season. To acquire these items, one can easily pick them up from a local Publix Supermarket or online at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com.

FINAL TIPS FOR LOBSTER SEASON

  1. Schedule your boat launch in advance
  2. Get out on the water early to hit your limit
  3. Bring friends for safety
  4. Get Scuba Certified
  5. Rent a boat trailer and head to the Keys
  6. Have Fun!